ACI — March 2020: Holding steady

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After bouncing back strongly last month, the Accountants Confidence Index held steady for March.

While some respondents predicted a slowdown before the end of the year — possibly as a result of the presidential election — most expected the economy to be strong for the short- and midterm. A small number noted the potential negative impact of the coronavirus, but the survey was conducted in mid-February, before very many cases had been reported in the U.S.

The ACI, published in partnership with ADP, is a monthly economic indicator that leverages the insights of accountants into the strength and prospects of businesses in the U.S. The 3-Month ACI came in at 55.34, down very little from the previous month's 55.82 (and well above the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction). The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 56.49, holding steady with last month's number.

The index components mostly held steady; the biggest changes were in the short- and mid-term expectations for large-business clients, which were off by approximateley two points.

The ACI is created from a monthly poll of the Accounting Today Executive Research Council, an online community of more than 1,500 tax and accounting professionals.